Swimming pool underwater
Underwater view of a pool. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A swimming coach employed by the city of Commerce was charged Wednesday with molesting a 7-year-old girl at an aquatic center.

Steven Matthew Garcia, 27, allegedly fondled the girl on several occasions in an employee lounge at the aquatic center and ordered her not to tell anyone.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on six counts of committing lewd acts on a child. The criminal complaint alleges that the crimes occurred between last October and this month.

“The type of conduct as alleged in this matter is reprehensible,” said City Administrator Jorge Rifa.

He said the city “took action immediately that led to the arrest of Garcia” by sheriff’s investigators, and added: “This alleged conduct is not representative of the caliber and professionalism of Commerce employees who continue to provide exceptional public service every day.”

Garcia could face up to 14 years in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

–City News Service 

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